Buying Advice BMW 3-series (E90-E91-E92) 2005- 2013 Common Issues Engines Inspection

Categories :

Hi everyone, we are back with another car buyers review. Today we take a look at the BMW 3-series that was built between 2005 and 2013. The internal code for this car is e90. With facelifts and other variants we talk about e90, e91, e92 and e93.

A succesful car for BMW

The 3 series is and always have been a success for BMW. A compact sedan that offers great driving experience and has many desirable engines. Because of its popularity, the 3 series is quite expensive. Also the brand plays a role in its price. The 3 series is the benchmark of its class when it comes to handling, mainly due to its stiffer chassis and rear wheel drive. This car came to the market as a sedan, touring and coupe.

It has many engine choices, still many inline six cylinder where available for this generation, but later on also 4 cylinder engines were added to the range. Downsizing was marking the beginning of small displacements together with turbo chargers. BMW always had a reputation for naturally aspirated engines without turbos, but the era of downsizing changed all of this.

There were many spec levels and many optional extras available for this car, these extras also determine the prices for second hand 3-series. Is this a reliable car and a good choice to buy as a second hand, that is the question that we will try to answer for you today. Even though BMW overall builds quite reliable cars, there are potentially a lot of things that could go wrong. You will be driving a premium car, that means that prices for repairs are premium as well. Keep that in mind, don’t buy this car with your last savings so to speak.


The overall feeling i get from this 3 series is that it needs good maintenance, and some preventive measures done to it before things get out of hand. If you opt for an engine fitted with turbo’s, understand that turbos offer great benefits but the turbo in general is a weaker part of the engine. It’s essential that the turbo gets good cooling and after driving fast it needs some time to cool down. Do regular checks on the oil level of the engine and use good oil.


Then an issue that we talked about before, swirlflaps. These flaps can get polluted and then get stuck. These flaps can then break off and can be sucked into the engine, it is wise as a precaution to remove these flaps. This will not influence performance or reliability anyway.  Some people complain about the driving comfort of the car. The chassis is stiff but still offers some levels of comfort. These cars have been delivered with run flat tires, these is not the best for comfortable driving. If you change these tires, 9 out of 10 times this will improve comfortlevels. Run flats are not even the best choice for those that like sportive driving.

Then a last thing, many of these cars at least in Europe have been used a leasecars. This means that you need check if the car have had it maintenance every year, aspecially the last year of the contract. Sometimes the last year of maintenance is skipped due to the costs and the car going out of the leasepool anyway. Upside to lease cars is that maintenance during the contract has always been done at the dealership itself, that is a positive thing, especially for a BMW.

Thanks for watching, if you find these videos useful, subscribe to my channel and we see you soon in another video. If you have any suggestions for cars that you want me to review, let me know in the comment section.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *